Health Care vs. Self Care

Lately I've been thinking a lot about health care. Haven't you? I'm sure many of us are dutifully trudging through the paperwork that the new health care act has brought our way. But hey, I'm into it. Personally, I have been paying for private health insurance for myself an my son since I moved to California 4 years ago. Prior to that, I was on the Oregon Health Plan, a free plan that I received once I was pregnant with Asher.

For me, I have used our health insurance on and off for generally major things - giant face gashes (ER), pneumonia (ER), antibiotics (immediate care) and blood tests (laboratory). I have also used it for some "routine" pediatrician visits. 

However, my "primary care provider" is a local ND with whom I have (by now) established a long-term and knowing relationship. For general health and wellness, I turn to her. Several times she has successfully treated ailments and illnesses in both me and my child. If something does not require immediate care, I choose to go to her for several reasons:
  1. i know her, and she knows me. i have been going to her long enough that i feel comfortable at her office and feel that i have substantial history there.
  2. her office is cozy and lovely. finding "cozy" in the medical field can be challenging these days.
  3. she listens to me, and asks a lot of questions.
  4. she gives me options - generally i choose treatment with botanicals, but for certain issues, i will choose western antibiotics or antivirals, which she also prescribes. 
  5. i feel safe there. i have had a couple experiences in the past with misdiagnoses and improper treatments with Asher. this has not occurred here. 
  6. i trust her. based on my medical history in this office and the success of mine and Asher's treatments, I feel pretty confident knowing that I can be helped.
I pay for these visits out of pocket. I pay when I go in. It is not cheap, but it is also not very expensive in the grand scheme of things. My payment includes a fairly long (60+ minutes) office visit, plus whatever medicine I end up with. Again, to me this feels like a great investment in my health, my happiness, and my sanity. Additionally, certain things (like my blood tests), for  treatments through my ND's office can and will be billed to my private insurance. Win. 

The reason I'm sharing this is because I hear so many people saying "I have to go to this Doctor because that's who my insurance covers," etc. I feel like many people don't realize that very good (albeit "alternative") healthcare is very realistically within our reach. Of course you should keep going to what is covered by your insurance...but if they aren't listening to you, or if they continually mistreat/misdiagnose you, or if they just plain old can't figure out why the hell you or your child has been chronically ill for weeks/months/years, then I really think we should all feel empowered to seek alternative answers. In these cases, there is no such thing as too much information. And, once we are informed from all directions, we can then make educated choices for treatment. 

In each of our communities, there are doctors, healers, and educators who might be outside the traditional medicine box, but they have very valuable resources to share. They are also much more affordable than the highly-regulated maze of doctors/insurances that often overwhelms us. Again, i'm not encouraging alternative medicine as the only way, i'm encouraging it as one of the ways. 

I also know that I'm speaking from a privileged position. Many people simply do not have the cash to go to an alternative healer. When I lived in Portland, my primary health care was a community clinic operated by the National College of Naturopathic Medicine - a highly reputable school that created clinics throughout the city and staffed them with students and doctors. It was one of these clinics that diagnosed Asher with bilateral pneumonia (age 3) after he had been misdiagnosed and sent home ("perhaps he has an earache") by the doctor that was covered on our OHP. (We quickly made a bee-line for the ER after that. it was not a fun day). these clinic visits cost $20 per visit, and the medicines they prescribed were discounted ridiculously low. on the one or two times they had to send me to a western pharmacy for antibiotics, they sent me with magical vouchers that covered the cost of the meds. (btw, if you live in Portland, they still have these clinics and i highly recommend them!).

Depending on the community you live in, there are varying types of alternative healers around you. Once you step into their world, more doors will open and the learning has begun. 


Between my local natural healers, Planned Parenthood, my family, and private health insurance, I feel that my health and Asher's health is very well protected and nurtured. This is also because of the way I was raised - I was raised by a mother who encouraged me to know my body, to seek healers, and to know what healing is. I notice when a doctor or dentist uses the word "heal" in conversation - many of them do not even use the term at all. 

This is probably the most political I've gotten in a long time on this blog, and I know this is a sensitive topic for many people. I'm interested in this stuff, though. How about you? How do you take care (medically speaking) of yourself and your children? Do you justify spending additional money on alternative health care, or do you feel like that is impractical? How do you form your network of healers? Do you ask friends, do you research the internet? Have you found a particular alternative medicine that works for you (or not)?

As we move into the future, it is vitally important that we learn to access healing as a community, that we learn (and are allowed) to trust our instincts, and that we know ways to access medicine and healing beyond just going to the designated physician on a provided list.


I tried to keep the tone of this fairly mellow. While my Covered California application is being processed, I am continuing to pay for my private insurance, and I will not hesitate to run to the "real" doctor if ever there is a need. For my ongoing health and for more subtle issues, I will continue to utilize the alternative resources and network that I have available to me at this point in my life. This post is simply my way of letting people (especially women and mothers) know that you have the power to be healthy and to be taken care of. Sometimes we have to be creative and resourceful about it, but hey, what's new? Reach out to your friends, they may have more information than you know. 

The healer you need might be closer than you think.


It occurred to me that some people might not have any idea where to start in terms of accessing healers, so I'm going to provide a list of ideas and ways to begin.

  1. Community acupuncture - this growing trend is spreading quickly through cities and small towns alike. Usually for anywhere from $15-40, you can get an acupuncture treatment through a community center. I have personally heard of acupuncture miracles, especially in the realm of female-only issues (menstruation, hormones, fertility, etc.)
  2. Herbalists - talk about majorly underpaid miracle workers! Herbalists are brimming with amazing healing information that can help you out. Ask around to find a local herbalist. In fact, it's possible that the "wellness clerk" at your local natural foods store is an herbalist, or at least knows one. Even if they don't have a "real office," ask for a consultation and I'm sure they'll be happy to give you one. 
  3. Nutritional Therapy Practitioner - I spoke about my NTP during my 30-day whole foods challenge. It all starts with food, friends! An NTP can give you a consultation and mojor download, complete with a beginning treatment plan all for $100-200. This could change your life and provide lots of information about what areas in your body need particular attention. 
  4. Naturopathic Doctors - In the article I linked to in the beginning of the article, it discusses various "Naturopath" terms and their certification and usage. Here in California, anyone can call themselves a "Naturopath," so what you really want to look for is a Naturopathic Doctor, or ND. Do the research in your state to find out who is reputable and who is not. I highly recommend using the NCNM Find a Practitioner page to find someone potentially amazing in your area. These doctors are generally pretty affordable (probably $200-$400 per visit, depending on where you are, etc) and highly informed and trained. They provide holistic health care as well as western medicinal treatment when needed. If you live in the Portland area, click here to find out about their clinics and see which one is closest to you. 
  5. Urgent Care or Immediate Care - perhaps many of you already know this, but Immediate care has a shorter wait, a less-stressed staff, and is cheaper on the insurance and the wallet than the ER. Keep it in mind as a resource for certain things.

p.s. I'm taking a break from FB, so share this post with any ladies who you think should see it!


The new space

Guess what?! sadieDeluxe has a new studio and shop space that will also be open to the public (by appointment and during select business hours)! I am very excited about this new (ad)venture, and I've spent the past week and a half cleaning and painting the new space. Today I'm planning on moving all my inventory in and finally getting it set up. I would have done that yesterday, but then it rained (yay) and Asher got sick (boo), so we stayed in and watched movies most of the day. 

I wanted to write this blog post so that everyone can know what's going on and be included on this completely new journey for me. After a friend encouraged me to seek a space for my work, I got excited and started checking out my options. This space was available, it's in a great spot, and it has TONS of light. I will be setting up a photo studio within the space, as well as a spot that I can do my computer work when needed. I'm very excited to be able to work outside of my home! I love my house, but I'm sure many of you know how stir-crazy it can get when you do everything at home all the time. 

Paradise is certainly not a large hub of retail or fashion...or anything, really. Nevertheless, it's my home, and I'm excited to try something new here. and I am beyond excited to have a photo studio (though my storage unit days have not been unpleasant).

Here are a few photos so far of the process. Thank you to my model Karoline who helped me paint! I had to do three coats since I was painting it white. Whew.

if you are local, stop by if you are ever in the area! the shop is at 6190 Skyway in Paradise. I will also have my photo studio set up and it will be available for other people to use as well - we can discuss rates and fees privately if you are interested in this. As this project evolves, I'm sure there will be much more to show and tell - if you know me, you know I am always dreaming up ways to collaborate and inspire, so this project is no different.

I will keep you posted. 


California girls

Recently I had the pleasure of modeling some clothing for Suzanne's up-and-coming (!!) Etsy shop for The House of Milk. I've mentioned plenty of times how much I love Suzanne's photography and her blog, so I am personally quite eager for her shop to launch. Anyway, she took some photos of me in our beloved farmlands and posted a few on her blog. Here are a couple I borrowed, and you can see more in her post

As much as I often wish that there was "more" going on where I live, I have to admit that it is wonderfully dreamy to live where we can step outside our doors and capture things like this.

Photos by The House of Milk


Simple Bone Broth Recipe

A few weeks ago on instagram, I posted a picture of some bone broth I was brewing. The photo got such a great response, I figured I'd post my process here. 

There are many ways to make bone broth, and there are many wonderful recipes out in the internet world. this is a simple, easy method that i like to use. Bone broth is so rich and healing and amazing, I really recommend having some around and keeping a couple jars in your freezer for when you need it. 

First of all, I use a crockpot. This way you can simmer for hours or days and not have to worry about it. I like making bone broth with lamb bones from the farmers market, but you can use any kind of bones. At  the market here, they sell bone packs specifically for broth making. I throw a pack (around 2 lbs) in the crock pot and then fill it up with filtered water. I also add some celery and onion chunks. Next, I add about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the water, and some salt (maybe a teaspoon or two). With the vinegar in there, I then let it all soak, still cold, for about 30-60 minutes. The vinegar soak will make the minerals in the bones more available in the broth.

Once it's soaked, I turn on the cooker and let it simmer on low for 20+ hours. You can do up to 48, but I usually stop at around 24.

Then, the messy part. The broth will be very rich and VERY oily, so be careful of spills. I strain it into a bowl, and then ladle it into jars for storing or freezing. Finally, I throw away the chunks of bone, etc. (Note: if you are freezing in jars, freeze with the lid off first to allow for expansion, and then place the lid on).

Thaw as needed. When the broth is refrigerated, it will congeal to a near solid because of all the gelatin in the broth. This is a good sign, and don't worry - once you warm it up it will become a liquid again. You can then use it as a soup base, or just drink a small cup of it each day. It's also delicious with some coconut cream in it and it makes a great snack on a cold day.


throwback/summer winds

wow you guys. this weather is crazy, huh? i'm mostly speaking to my California co-horts, those of us in the land of early spring and dry winter heat. i will spare us the worried conversations on water and fire. i will also spare us the discussions of drought and of the fleeting winter that left us wanting more. instead, i have decided to embrace spring, since it's here, right now. the flowers are blooming and the weather is too warm for boots, my toenails need desperately to be painted now that they can show their faces to the sun. though of course i feel the concern and prayers for rain fill my heart, i feel also that to resist the course right now would be too draining. here we are. and it is warm. 

you know what else this makes me think of? how there's the old cliché of how boring it is when people talk about the weather. oh, we just talked about the weather. but really, wtf else are we going to talk about first? who doesn't want to talk about the weather?? the weather is our everything. it is the container that we live in, the real sense of nature at large. it rules us - our emotions, our food, our daily plans. talking about the weather is the way that we humans, in this day and age of technology, can reconnect with the source. it is a universal religion that isn't tainted with politics and history. the weather is a central part of our every moment, and it is the one thing that we all have in common to discuss. 

that being said, all this warm weather has me thinking about warm-weather things, and i've been waiting for an excuse to post these behind-the-scenes photos from a photoshoot i did last summer with Claire Fong and Melanie MacTavish. Melanie recently sent me these and I'm excited to share them. the photoshoot was in July, on a day it was so hot that we had to keep wiping sweat from the model's face.

it was a wonderful day. 

wishing all of you sunshine and rain, enough water and food for your families, and enough rest for your hearts.


wearing it well

i've been advertising on Poor Pitiful Pearl's blog lately, and Shauna, the owner, styled a sadiedeluxe hat in one of her shoots last month. PPP has been a longtime Etsy favorite of mine, and Shauna has a very inspiring story that was featured on Etsy's "Quit Your Day Job" series. such a pleasure to work with these amazing, crafty women!!

*photos courtesy of PPP


These days

1. making dreamcatchers
2. new hangtags/cards for packages
3. elderberry brew, before the filtering
4. bottled elderberry tonic


Winter Picnic Photo Editorial (Part I)

Last month, I mentioned that I had worked with local photographer Shannon Iris to produce a Winter Picnic photo editorial, and I posted a couple sneak preview shots. Shannon edited and tuned up the photos faster than I would have thought possible, especially with the holidays all up in our business right after the shoot. Last week she sent me the final shots, and this week, I'm sharing them with all of you! this is a small selection of the multitude of gorgeous pictures we got. As I always say, narrowing it down is one of the hardest parts of creating any lookbook or editorial.

This photoshoot was dreamed into reality over a tea date I had with Shannon not so long ago. Shannon possesses a fierce commitment to productivity, and so within only moments of the seed being planted for this shoot, the wheels were already turning and elements were being put into place. I have to say that there is something so amazing about women who can just get. it. done

I'm so happy to have worked with this crew of ladies. Many thanks to my models, Suzanne and Erin, who brought extra beauty and brilliance to the shoot. Suzanne hosted all of us at her house, made us tea, and let me raid her closet for extra clothes to put in the shoot. Shannon did our hair (I'm telling you, these ladies are multi-talented), and we set off into the orchards and vineyard outside Suzanne's door to take the pictures. BTW, I just noticed that Suzanne has a totally gorgeous behind-the-scenes post from the shoot on her blog, here

Cheers to friends and food, winter sunlight, warm tea, and gathering with friends in all seasons. 

If you want to see more of the photos (there are so many more!), please visit Shannon's blog post here, and stay tuned at The House of Milk for more this week.

Thanks again to all you ladies who helped to make this happen. 


Fare thee well, 2013

I'm a little late on the New Year post, but that's only because i have been in serious vacation mode with Asher. lots of laying around and forgetting what day it is, lots of movies and tea, lots of resting. 

I love new year's posts. i love seeing what everyone has to say about the past year, or the year that lies ahead, and i love seeing the tributes that some people come up with. my very favorite post this year is by Amy at Wildfell Hall. go read it! it's actually what finally inspired me to actually make a new year post. 

like so many of you, 2013 was no joke for me. some major shit went down last year, and it was a lot of work. highly demanding. a lot of emotional resources were used, discovered, depleted, re-filled. i learned so much about myself last year. i got older. i know that happens every year, but in 2013 i turned 31 and officially pushed forth into my "30s," making even 29 seem so long ago.

in 2014, i'm excited to be really awesome and experience love and joy in everything! Right???? oh yeah and make lots of money and laugh a lot. with a few good cries, of course, and a couple good  vacations, too.

for my New Year's post, here is a retrospective of some (not nearly all) of my favorite photos and moments I blogged throughout the year last year. Thanks to all who have been reading and looking and loving for so long. 

Hannah in the light, January 2013

Hannah catching the sun, January 2013
me, captured by Hannah, January 2013

Kauai, February 2013

Hindu temple, Kauai, February 2013

Homemade chocolates, March 2013

Epic photoshoot team in SF, April 2013

Asher, May 2013

Bald Rock, May 2013

Claire at the creek, June 2013

Roses, July 2013

Oregon, August 2013

Food, September/October 2013